Who knows what will happen next in the mess that claims to be an attempt to improve our health care delivery system? We must hope for one of two things to happen—either Congress must move on to something else, maybe tax reform—or some compromise must be reached that will allow passing something, so members can claim victory and move on. Every time I think one or the other is happening, some news article pops up suggesting otherwise.
While I would love for this to get out of the way, allowing Sec. Price to focus more time, energy and attention to solving some of our issues, the fact that a legislative cure is underway has shifted my primary concern to another aspect of this battle.
How on earth did we allow ObamaCare to lull us into believing that everyone in the country deserves free health care whenever they ask for it, with no concern, apparently, over the undeniable fact that someone else must pay for it—either taxpayers, or providers, who can't get fair reimbursement for their services?
No one can live without food. Why, if healthcare is a right, don't we consider food to be a right as well. And shelter, and clothing, and all the other things that folks can't live without? Looked at this way, free, unlimited health care is ridiculous.
Now, I certainly believe in charity, but that is—or at least should be—the purview of churches, synagogues, temples, and the many charitable organizations that exist for that purpose. Where does it say that the way to bestow charity is to force others to pay for it by having it delivered by the government? The government should stay out of the way of those delivering charity, and recognize economic inequality in law and regulation, but not be the sole provider of everything one needs to live!
I still insist that the single greatest improvement we could make to achieve the goal of more affordable, available health insurance would be through changes in the tax rules and insurance laws that would move the selection—and tax deductions—for health insurance from employers and the government to the individual. We should buy health insurance the same way we buy homeowners and automobile insurance, making our own choices about deductibles, co-pays and coverage. Force insurance companies to compete for quality and cost, allow consumers to choose, and you will be amazed at how costs drop.
Currently, the US has the most expensive health costs in the world, and is about 17th in quality. With a government enforced re-insurance pool for high risk patients, rewards for living a healthier life style, and premium subsidies for the indigent, we could meet almost everyone's objectives of making affordable insurance available to everyone.
Of course, there are many unstated details that must be included, but you wouldn't read about them if I tried to explain. If you are really interested in the subject, start by reading this article, which was referred to in my last post. The Swiss have figured out how to do it right, and we could easily adapt their system to work for us.